‘Another’ African Tsunami…

Being an ardent Arsenal fan, the last couple of weeks have been kind of equivalent to the effect this terrible tsunami has had on the socio-economical landscape of the mighty Island of Japan. It so happens the Gunners are making the headlines for all the wrong reasons, and aren’t the media (trained and untrained) having a field day at my team’s expense. Crashing out of 3 tournaments in two weeks is not an easy feat, trust me, and its not like Wenger planned for all this to happen. I’m cognizant of the fact that at a time Arsenal went without a trophy for 17 years, so what kind of a fan would I be if I didn’t stick by it if the others could that long?

Speaking of Japan, am I the only one who was experiencing this inexplicably hopeless feeling in my gut, as I watched the videos on BBC and Al Jazeera… the tumultuous waves sweeping away anything in their wake: men, women, children, vehicles, livestock, trees, trucks… I guess the only Hollywood blockbuster I can remember that came close to what I imagine the Japanese civilians are going through was Deep Impact. Picture a tower of water, about half the height of Times Tower, consuming the entire shoreline of Mombasa all the way to the tip of the North coast…and tourism being our leading foreign exchange earner, my guess is as good as yours what that would mean for our economy, notwithstanding how long it would take our semi-dysfunctional government to clear such a catastrophe up.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the tsunami, its that for Africa to forge ahead in its agenda to catch up with the rest of the world in the ideological revolution that is steadily taking place, there has to be a turn around from traditionally agrarian dependencies to innovation, science and technology. The tsunami has caused enormous havoc throughout the Japanese countryside…. there’s no hiding that, nuclear power plants are threatening to meltdown and its practically impossible to fathom how the government will clear up all the mess in the streets and piece back the economy together in a giffy. Then you might ask, what is left? I’m sure I’m not the only Kenyan who’s been left wondering how we would cope if disaster struck the same way, and being an African country, it wouldn’t be surprising that the world would be a lot less understanding and helpful unless it convincingly suited their national agendas. The only recurrent statement I hear and see is the fact that the Japanese can handle it…great engineers, solid planners, quality work and brilliant minds…with such a wealth of tangible resource, who could argue with that?

Western countries long ago discovered that the only way to move forward is to faithfully invest in its population, testament to the fact that most of the European, Asian and continental American countries have admirable social policies and ensure that the general population is taken care of… meanwhile our African governments are perpetually spiraling into a cesspool of self gratuity, with the agenda of individual and familial betterment, at the expense of the civilians they were faithfully elected to serve. To deepen this quagmire, Africans are generally slow to rise up to the occasion of fighting for their collective rights because of a rigid mentality brought about by a new form of segregation, ethnicity mixed with ignorance, which comprehensively claws across diverse peoples, tongues and sub Saharan nations.

Let me put the ethnic divide theory on hold for a minute and reflect on this: Africa is divided into roughly three categories IMO; the political class, the wealthy and the ordinary. The ordinaries are the predominant, as on any other continent, but instead of the wealthy being at the top of the food chain, we have placed the political class on such an elevated pedestal, that a subtle taste of its resultant potently alluring juices would corrupt even the noblest of souls. This then equated to political dynasties, dictatorships, misuse of public funds and a wide range of a cornucopia of issues that any citizen who knew their rights, wouldn’t stand for, or be hood-winked into. Whether it be a population that lacks a civic education or simply delights in being spoon fed with a barrage of excuses by biased forces, I have not yet come to that conclusion, but what is clear is that the world as we know it is evolving…

It’s not an agrarian revolution and neither is it industrial nor technological, I think we are way past that… it happens to be an enlightenment that transcends the physical and meta-physical.

As 7 billion earthlings (read a billion Africans) come to the realization that they can force the will of their elite governors, and as Mother Nature fights back with the very creation she was to support, it is a cataclysmically volatile race to a finish line that religion and belief has foreseen for thousands of years, dotted with uncertainty, a poignancy for the past and faith in the promises of the future.